Hi, I’m Adam and This is How I Work

about meInspired by the Lifehacker How I Work series, I’ve decided to put together a post on what my daily work life routine. If you’re a blogger, I encourage you to do the same. I think it’d be interesting to get a glimpse into peoples’ work lives. If you do write a post, let me know by adding your post to the list here.  Be sure to stick with the same format so that we show some consistency. Add some questions if you feel like I missed some.

 

 

 

 

 

Where are you located?

Evansville, IN

What is/are your current gig(s):

What’s one word to describe your work?

Rewarding

What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?

Macbook Pro, PowerShell, Desired State Configuration, Team Foundation Server, Ansible, GitHub, Spotify, Slack, Microsoft Word, Camtasia

What does your workspace look like?

my-workspace

What’s a typical workweek look like? 

A typical day means coming down to my basement office and firing up my Macbook Pro. Since I have ADD and am medicated (most of the time), my mornings are pretty unproductive until my meds kick in. That means Twitter, writing some fun blog posts (this one) or anything that doesn’t require any significant thinking.

Once the meds have kicked in, I get to work. I VPN into my work with my work laptop and then RDP to that from my Mac so I can work on my MacBook retina display and Thunderbolt display.

I’ll then probably check my team’s current sprint in TFS to see what outstanding work items I still have. I’ll then get to work on those. 95% of my day is writing PowerShell code, but we’re moving more towards DSC/Ansible as time goes on. I’ll usually toil around with various PowerShell things and eventually walk upstairs for some lunch.

Once I’ve grabbed a bite after 15 min or so, I’ll usually head back down to my office because I’m working on a problem that’s driving me nuts that I want to solve.

I’ll often stop working for my company around five unless I’m involved in an issue I can’t let go. I have to force myself to do this because I have other work that has to be done. I write 15-20 articles/month, so I try to do 1/article per day during the week. My weekday typically ends around 7 PM.

On the weekends, I’ll either work on writing articles, if I haven’t finished them up yet, or will work on whatever project is on my plate. Typically, it’s a Pluralsight course or sometimes I have work to do for a client that’s hired me on Upwork. I’ll probably do 10 hours of work on the weekends.

In between paid work, I’m then usually fiddling around with some side project as a new Github repo, working on a conference presentation or learning about some new technology or way to do things.

What do you like the best about your role?

The flexibility. I work from home and have an understanding boss in my full-time position. I work when I want and from where I want.  There’s no mandated 40 hr/week that I have to do. Although I’m “allowed,” there’s no way I could mentally do that since my brain wants to work 24/7. I can fit in work whenever I need to regardless of the time or day.

What’s something about you that no one knows about?

I hate the Windows client OSes and PCs. Believe it or not, the only client-based Microsoft technology I use is PowerShell. I’m super-excited about PowerShell Core! I’m an Apple fanboy in the consumer space.

What do you listen to while you work?

Spotify usually cranks out classical, heavy metal, country or whatever else is on my playlist. I like all kinds of music, but honestly, it’s usually quiet as a church mouse in my office 75% of the time.

What do you wish you could change about your work?

I sometimes wish I didn’t feel the need to work so much. Work brings me pleasure, and I love solving problems. I get a real sense of accomplishment from solving a problem or helping others out. I also feel the need to consistently bring in more $$$ even though my family is better financially than we ever have been.

This desire to do more, more, more is always with me and sometimes is a detriment to family life although I’m thankful I have an understanding wife!

I also need to do more learning myself other than just what’s required for my job. I should probably look through some of the Pluralsight library since I’ve had a free subscription for over four years now but that reminder to do more paid work is always with me.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

Yes. My work life improved dramatically as soon as I got more involved in the Microsoft technical community. By getting myself out there in numerous ways, people begin to notice your work. I got my latest job with hardly an interview and only after a year-long, well-paying 40 hr/week contract job. I now get various work inquiries for full-time as well as consulting/writing work at least a few times/month. This was because I love what I do and this naturally has made me pretty good at it.

Don’t settle for what you want. Pursue whatever passion you have, even if it’s not IT. Do what you love to do and never look back. Get as involved with a community as much as you can regardless of how introverted you are. Take it from this introvert; it’s not in our nature to just put ourselves out there but, in the long run, the uncomfortable sacrifice will well be worth it!

Adam Bertram

Chief Automator at Adam the Automator, LLC
Adam Bertram is an independent consultant, technical writer, trainer and presenter. Adam specializes in consulting and evangelizing all things IT automation mainly focused around Windows PowerShell. Adam is a Microsoft Windows PowerShell MVP, 2015 powershell.org PowerShell hero and has numerous Microsoft IT pro certifications. He authors IT pro course content for Pluralsight, is a regular contributor to numerous print and online publications and presents at various user groups and conferences.You can find Adam here on the blog or on Twitter at @adbertram.

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5 comments

  • Hey Adam, I’m a little late to comment, but I’ve really enjoyed reading the other IT-focused ‘This is how I work’ posts! It was rather refreshing to see you post that you are ADD diagnosed and medicated, since I’m in the same boat. I’m curious what tips or tricks you have for staying on task with things like keeping up your blog, staying involved in social media, etc? When I’m in the office, I can typically put on my headphones and stay on track with whatever is on my task list (usually), but outside of work I find that things like personal blogging, training, or even learning a new hobby become a chore very quickly and I don’t stick with them!
    -MIke

    • Hi Mike,

      Yep. ADD is something I’ve struggled with for many years now. The medication helps out tremendously but I’ve been lucky to latch on to interests. I tend to get involved in one project at a time and I choose it wisely. I realize that I’m not capable of juggling more than a few things at once because I’ll just get frustrated and quit all of them. Because of this, I focus on a single thing at a time. For example, I decide to author a new course for Pluralsight. At first, I don’t really want to do it because I know it’s going to take some serious time. However, I push myself to commit and to stick to a deadline. Then I’m stuck. I can’t back out. This then forces me to complete it. I do this process for lots of other things as well.

      If you’re finding that you don’t want to personally blog, train or learn a new hobby that probably means it doesn’t interest you right now. If so, I might try to push past the initial disinterest for seeing future benefits. I do this all the time. I find that, at first, I resist doing lots of things but once I get involved and committed, I find that I tend to start getting interested in the subject and finish it. It’s just all about getting started for me.

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  • Nice post! I would like to know a couple of things.

    1) Can you give a few examples of what you are doing that requires 95% of your time writing Powershell?

    2) Are you getting full time jobs, contracts, inquiries, etc from mainly via your blog, twitter, resume posting site, Upwork, or other sources?

    • I’m a “Senior Systems Automation Engineer” in a 100% Windows environment. This essentially means I write PowerShell all day automating all kinds of infrastructure things to bring up test environments for developers. I also do automation consulting where I do everything in PowerShell.

      The majority of the contacts I get are either through the contact page on my blog, LinkedIn or via Upwork. I’ve had a few inquiries come in over Twitter as well.

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